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The Unfortunate Man: A Fashion and Lifestyle Blog

How to Tie a Windsor Knot and Other Things Dad Would Have Taught You If He'd Stayed

Chris Andrus

This would be no problem if you'd grown up with a strong male role model.

This would be no problem if you'd grown up with a strong male role model.

 

Hey fellas. We all know that distinguishing ourselves from our fellow men isn't always easy. Society says you have to be a go-to guy in any situation, or else you'll just get lost in the herd. Luckily, with a few simple hacks for common challenges life is sure to throw your way, you can demonstrate your value as a person while also compensating for the father-shaped black hole of abandonment that has defined most of your life. Check out these tips from the Unfortunate Men's Style Team:

Tying a Windsor knot

The basic Windsor is a thick, bold tie knot that presents a strong face to the world, conveying the sort of self-assuredness you'd possess if you grew up with a strong male presence in your life. Start with the wide end on the right, hanging about a foot below the short end. Bring the wide end across, then through the loop between your neck and the tie. Bring the wide end down, then pull it to the right, under the narrow end, back through the loop and to the right again. Bring the wide end around the front and through the loop again, then down through the front knot. Tighten as needed, and go into the world confidently, whether you're arguing a case before the Supreme Court or preparing for another day's work at Staples.

 

Building a campfire

If you stare hard enough, maybe you can undo the past.

If you stare hard enough, maybe you can undo the past.

Here's a counterintuitive trick Dad would have shared if he'd taken you camping instead of moving out to live with his other family in Topeka that you never knew about: Instead of starting with kindling on the bottom, put the largest logs down first, then build a teepee of kindling, paper and smaller logs on top. It takes longer for the fire to grow, but it will burn for hours, giving you plenty of time to stare into the flames and imagine what you'd say to him today.

 

Throwing a perfect spiral

Imagine how confident you might be if you'd been encouraged to participate in sports.

Imagine how confident you might be if you'd been encouraged to participate in sports.

The fall is a great time to go out in the backyard and toss around the old pigskin, which, luckily, is something you can still do even if you don't have anyone to play with. When throwing a football high in the air to yourself, or at a target such as a tire swing or a can on top of a fencepost, place your middle and ring fingers over the laces with your index finger slightly behind them. Face your target with your opposite shoulder, then snap your wrist at the moment of release. While your perfect spiral is airborne, reflect on the decay and impermanence autumn symbolizes, and how we're really all just dust.

 

Carving a Thanksgiving turkey

This is a lot of turkey to eat alone.

This is a lot of turkey to eat alone.

Luckily, this one's easier than it looks. Simply remove a Single Serving Stouffer's Turkey Breast dinner from your freezer, take the tray out of the box, and put it in the microwave. You'll want to poke a couple of holes in the plastic film before starting. This is important if you want to preserve moisture in the flash-frozen stuffing and turkey medallions. Cook according to the recommended times on the box, pour another bourbon and see if "It's a Wonderful Life" is on again.